Managing stress and anxiety.

I know I am not alone in getting January blues and now we are 3 weeks into 2015, resolutions or hopes for changing your diet/lifestyle/relationship etc may not be working out just yet. Isn’t it time we gave ourselves a break and not put so much pressure on ourselves? Things do not change overnight and by freaking out over that chocolate digestive (or 3) you have eaten is going to raise your stress levels and make you ill.

I am quite a stressy person and worry. A lot. I never used to be that much of a worrier but since I have suffered with P.A.D (Panic attack disorder) I am the queen of worry and stress myself out which in turns leads me to insomnia episodes which then lead to migraines… see the pattern! 

One of my goals this year is not to worry so much, life’s too short and I have to stop letting opportunities pass me by. Why do I do this? I worry that people wont like me/I will have a panic attack/I will look fat in what I wear/I wont get the job etc Ridiculous yes but part of my make up at the moment. I know deep down that the answers to those thoughts are; Who cares if they don’t like me/If I do I can control it/No I wont look fat/If I don’t get it something else will come along. The more I tell myself this the more it will help me, I know that and you readers are probably nodding and saying well derrr yes of course! It is easy to write it down but not so easy to put it into practise but that is what I am trying to do now. 

One thing that is worrying me slightly at the moment is flying. My first panic attack was actually at about 20,000 feet in the air flying back from Dublin on my own. I had no  idea what was happening to me but I was convinced we were going to crash. I did not have one again for a few months after that but unfortunately I have not flown since. That was almost five years ago and in just over two weeks time I will be flying again although not alone. I am worried but I want to enjoy the experience as I always enjoyed flying before. I know that if I do panic I can get through it as I did at the theatre last year which I wrote about here. But the best thing I can do before I go is to relax and stop stressing so much. And here are just a few ways to do that which if you are a sufferer of anxiety or stress like me might find useful. 

1. Exercise. 
I have not done any this year so far so back to the pool and walking lots is on the agenda. Its a great way of relaxing and unwinding and also to clear your mind of all those thoughts tumbling around in your head.

2. Organised
Make sure all appointments and things I need to do are written down and organised. One of the things that keeps me awake is having a mental list of what I need to do. Write it down before you go to bed to ’empty’ your mind.

3. Acceptance
Accept that things will go wrong and that some things I cant change and concentrate on what i have control over. I cant change my past and what caused my anxiety but i can make sure that it doesn’t hinder me and cause me to ruin my prospects.

4. Relax
Reading a book, watching a film, yoga or meditation there are many ways to relax. I need to find something I can turn to to help me that do that. 

5. Positivity. 
I have been rubbish at this in the past but am working on that a lot lately. I preach to my friends about PMA but don’t take my own advice. Looking for the positives in life and even a positive thing a day will help you have a more positive outlook on life. 

That’s not all the things you can do but just a few basic tips.
If you are reading this and think you might suffer from stress, panic attacks, anxiety or even depression then don’t do it alone. Ask for help there is no shame in it. Seek advice and once you have you will be one step closer on the path to recovery.

A more serious blog I know but hope you enjoyed it all the same. Blog soon.

Love and sprinkles.

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